URBAN DECODER: Have you seen “shoreline at work” signs around Ottawa’s waterways? We’ve got the low down on what they mean

A before shot of one of the shorelines that was spruced up with the Making Shorelines Natural initiative. Photo credit: Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

DEAR URBAN DECODER: I was walking along a creek in Ottawa and saw a sign that said “shoreline at work.” What is happening to this waterway, and who put the sign there?

The signs popped up this past spring and were put there by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, a local organization that aims to protect watershed areas throughout the Ottawa region. It takes on a variety of projects in the city that protect clean water, preserve natural shorelines, and create sustainable land use for years to come. The RVCA also protects our waterways from contamination and misuse.

Specifically, the RVCA’s Making Shorelines Natural project is a two-year initiative in partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation, an environmental charity group involved in protecting and conserving land and water in Eastern Ontario. Together, they coordinated to plant thousands of trees and shrubs along Becketts Creek, Bilberry Creek, Nepean Creek, Sawmill Creek, Stevens Creek, and more. More than 530 volunteers – consisting of volunteer groups, local landowners, and businesses – worked more than 1,700 hours to create better waterways in several communities by helping to plant greenery during the spring and summer of this year.

An after shot, looking much leafier. Photo credit: Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

The RVCA notes the importance of maintaining clean and lush shorelines. It dubs shorelines the “ribbon of life” because of the way it protects our water from contaminants, provides a home to fish, birds, and other wildlife, and helps prevent soil erosion.

This project not only helps guard shorelines, but it also perks up the appearance of creeks and waterways in our neighbourhoods and provides calm and lush landscapes to enjoy during those early morning runs with the dogs and evening constitutionals.